Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I believe in food

I believe that every human being should enjoy food. This may seem to be an odd belief and I hope that people do enjoy food, but the truth is, there are too many mouths that remain dry, taste buds that lack experience, and stomachs that remain empty. When these mouths are wetted, the taste buds experienced, and the stomachs full, amazing things can happen. Learning can occur, shelter can be built, plans can be made, and worlds can be created. The lack of food brings about the lack of advancement since the human body will resort to one focus, and that is to find something, anything, to eat.

I live in a world that has plenty. You can call it lucky or blessed, either way, I do not want for anything. I have a job, I have a family, I have friends, I have an education, and I have food. I eat what I want when I want. I don't ever have to wonder when I will eat again. Instead, I wonder what I will eat from the many food resources available to me. The luxury of planning a meal and taking the time to prepare it is old to me. I have been fortunate enough to be able to be picky about what I eat, hunting out organically created foods and gourmet items. I love to eat because I choose to eat what is delicious. I savor food, letting the taste of the ingredients swirl around my tongue as I sigh with contentment. I also shamefully waste food, often throwing things away because they rotted before I felt like eating them or because they just didn't appeal to me anymore. I, and most people who will read this, are in the minority.

The problem of hunger is also not unique to developing nations. Sure there are plenty of people in developing countries who starve daily, but hungry people also exist within the borders of my country, my state, my city. People who I pass on the streets, who go to the public schools, whose houses I drive by daily are not eating. They are starving and struggling to make a better life.

I recently listened to an NPR story on poverty in the south. One of the ladies Michelle Norris interviewed for the piece received food subsidies for her groceries. She receives a little over $160 for her groceries. Yep, $160 to feed herself and her son. When I heard that, I felt ashamed, not just for all the food I had just thrown out of the fridge and pantry, but for the amount of money I spend on a week's worth of groceries for my family. $160. How does that compare to what you eat?

Without food, people cannot begin to focus on the other aspects of life that will bring success. They cannot learn because they are hungry. They cannot build because their bodies are not nourished. They cannot develop or grow because their basic needs are unfulfilled. I've added two links to the side under "Plant a seed." The first is for The Hungersite. The Hungersite is a website that has a list of sponsors who will donate funds for every unique click they receive each day. By clicking on the "Help Feed the Hungry" button, you will be providing food to people all over the world. Plus, it is completely free to you.

The second site is one that hits closer to home, literally. America's Second Harvest provides funding to local area foodbanks. That's right, you will be supporting local foodbanks by donating to America's Second Harvest. Instead of buying yarn or something that is more a want than a need one month, how about donating to end hunger in your city? You may be feed a child who lives in your city.

If you can, plant a seed of hope and take a step to help end hunger.

1 comment:

Dee said...

I was amazed in our middle to upper middle class area how many children do not have enough to eat.
I volunteer at a local elementary and hunger is a major problem. Children that are hungry can't concentrate on their schoolwork and the problem continues into the next generation and the next and next as these children do not become successful adults. It is so sad.

DS and I have worked at the food bank for years and our church gives regularly to Second Harvest and Bread of Life.

Kudos to you for bringing this very important topic to light.